The mission of the School of Health Technology and Management (SHTM) Office of the Director of Diversity (ODD) is to work collaboratively with faculty, staff, students, and other stakeholders to promote a broadened individual and collective understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our aim is to create a culture of inclusion and social justice within SHTM, by recognizing its diversity and addressing mechanisms of systemic bias that affect marginalized groups. The aim is to foster growth and advocacy for all members of the School. With support from leadership, the ODD advises and recommends policies, professional development, and pedagogical practices as is consistent with the mission of the SHTM.
Juneteenth which is short for “June Nineteenth” marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday.
The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, had established that all enslaved people in Confederate states in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.”
But in reality, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t instantly free any enslaved people. The proclamation only applied to places under Confederate control and not to slave-holding border states or rebel areas already under Union control. However, as Northern troops advanced into the Confederate South, many enslaved people fled behind Union lines.
The year following 1865, freedmen in Texas organized the first of what became the annual celebration of "Jubilee Day" on June 19. In the ensuing decades, Juneteenth commemorations featured music, barbecues, prayer services and other activities, and as Black people migrated from Texas to other parts of the country the Juneteenth tradition spread.
In 1979, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday. Today, nearly all 50 states, either officially or unofficially, recognize Juneteenth as a holiday though efforts to make it a national holiday have so far stalled in Congress. On October 14, 2020, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law legislation (S.8598/A.10628) designating Juneteenth as an official public holiday in New York State.